Object Title

Harquebusier's armour

Harquebusier's armour



Object Number



Probably transferred from Greenwich, 1649.

Physical Description

Consisting of helmet, cuirass and gorget, for a boy aged eight to ten. The surface of the pieces is entirely silvered over where they were originally gilt with faint traces of gilding being preserved. The curiass and gorget are divided into panels by means of embossed ridges. The panels are filled with trophies of armour, weapons and banners, the design being engraved and partially punched. The bands between having a pattern of scrolling foliage carried out in the same manner. On the gorget the trophies are embossed in relief. There are no embossed ridges on the helmet, the panels being framed by engraved lines.

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plates LI and LXVI.

B Clifford and K Watts, Princely armours and weapons of childhood, Royal Armouries, Leeds 2003: 23


The form of the breastplate would seem to date the cuirass about 1610-20 and it is possible that it was decorated for the use of the Prince at that time with the helmet being made some twenty years later. The inside of the breastplate shows distinct lines of the laying out of the decoration for a larger breastplate, clearly left unfinished and later used for the basis of the present piece. The decoration of the first breastplate was intended to consist of bands with thistles in between pointing to Prince Henry as a possible owner. RC2: Permission to lend required from the sovereign